Flames coach Ernest Mtawali has said they will fight for a win when they face South Sudan this afternoon in their last Group C match of the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia.
They top the group with six points having won their first game 2-1 against Sudan.
But the Flames need to beat South Sudan so that they maintain the top position and meet one of the two third-best teams in the quarter-finals.
Speaking in an interview from Bahir Dar on Thursday, Mtawali said they will not ease down a gear.
“Our aim is to finish the group matches with a 100 percent record, so we will not relax. We do not have such luxury.
“We need to keep the momentum and we will fight for a win,” said Mtawali.
The Flames mentor said they have observed that the South Sudanese are good defensively.
“They pack the bus and that is how they frustrated Sudan yesterday [Wednesday]. No wonder, they are yet to concede a goal, but we will try to come up with a strategy to unlock their defence.”
The Flames are one of the only two teams with a 100 percent record at the tournament—the other is Tanzania—but Mtawali said it is not something to brag about.
“It’s a good motivation, but not something to make noise about. We just have to remain focused. We can do much better than we are doing now, but the signs are very good, slowly the team is gelling,” he said.
With striker Schumacher Kuwali out of today’s fixture, Mozambique-based Chawanangwa Kawonga is expected to partner stand-in captain Chiukepo Msowoya upfront.
South Sudan goalkeeper Juma Ginaro was quoted by the BBC as saying they are looking forward to the Flames showdown.
“We are happy that we have picked a point against a strong Sudan side. We now wait to face Malawi in our last group game,” Ginaro was quoted as saying.
South Sudan, who joined international football in 2012, have proved to be a strong side.
In September this year, they beat Equatorial Guinea in their 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.
South Sudan played their first official friendly against Uganda in July 2012 which ended in a two-all draw.
One of their key players is Atak Lual who scored the only goal against Equatorial Guinea that gave his side a historic win. Bruno Matinez and Dominic Ayubo are the the other players to watch. n